When you buy real estate in Tennessee, there are different options when it comes to having your property titled. It is important to know the differences because it changes your rights to the property. Here is an explanation of the basic title options available in Tennessee.
All Types of Title Options
Tenants In Common: This is the default title option for everyone except married couples. When a property is held as tenants in common, everyone with ownership rights to the property has a right to use the property. Unless otherwise specified, the ownership of the property is equal. This means when you’re selling your property, you split the proceeds equally with the other owners. Because this is the default rule, unless the owners specifically use another option, the owners will be considered tenants in common. It is also important to note that property held as tenants in common by individuals will likely have to go through probate in order to be transferred.
Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship: Joint tenants with rights of survivorship own the property equally. The biggest distinction here is that there are survivorship rights. This means that the surviving joint tenant(s) will acquire the deceased joint tenant’s portion upon their passing. This means that you do not have to go through the probate process to transfer the property. It is automatic until the last tenant living passes away. There are strict specifications on how to form the title. So if you need to title your property in this manner, you need an attorney to properly accomplish your goal.
Tenants by the Entirety: This is the default rule for married couples and is only available to married couples. Tenants by the entirety is very similar to joint tenants with rights of survivorship in that the survivorship rights exist, meaning probate will not be needed to transfer real estate when the first spouse dies. However, tenants by the entirety has one major difference–extra creditor protection. Creditors of only one spouse cannot attach to and sell the interest of the debtor spouse if the property is held as tenants by the entirety. The creditor must be a creditor of both spouses or have the permission of the non-debtor spouse to have that ability. The creditor can only attach to and sell the debtor spouse’s survivorship rights. Because of the survivorship rights and creditor protection, tenants by the entirety is an attractive option.
Contact Tressler & Associates for Real Estate Help
Title options are not simple. A real estate attorney can help you understand them and find the right one for you. If you are unsure how your property is titled or want to see if there are better options for you, contact our real estate attorney for help. We would be glad to find the best option for your situation.